New UN inquiry shows the US ‘war on terror’ is still terrorising the people it claims to be helping

American fighter plane Afghanistan
John Shafthauer

America’s fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan continues, nearly 16 years after it began. And a new report suggests that at least 18 civilians died in the latest round of attacks.

The main conflict took place between 2001 and 2014. But since 2015, a reduced US force, in conjunction with NATO, has been supporting the Afghan army. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism predicts that between 142 and 200 civilians have died since this latest bout of fighting began. And a new UN inquiry claims that at least 18 more were killed between 8 and 9 February 2017.

Airstrikes

The US military confirmed that it conducted around 30 airstrikes in the Helmand region over a one week period. Brigadier General Charles Cleveland said of the UN report:

We are investigating the allegations and working diligently to determine whether civilians were killed or injured as a result of U.S. air strikes

The UN claimed that “international military forces” carried out the strikes. But US military officials confirmed that only their aircraft performed recent airstrikes.

The toll

According to the UN’s initial inquiry, most of the 18 civilians killed were women and children. Afghan residents and officials, meanwhile, told Al-Jazeera that the death toll was higher than 18. Mullah Fazal Ahmed told them:

The jets arrived at around 3am (local time) on Friday and started bombing indiscriminately in a heavy residential area. I lost my aunt, two cousins and a nephew in the strikes… Most of them who were pulled out of the rubble were bodies of women and children, as young as five-years-old.

Uncertainty

Brigadier General Charles Cleveland also told Al-Jazeera:

it’s not at all clear at the moment how these civilians were killed.

What is clear, however, is that the US is still struggling – after almost 16 years – to protect the people it is supposedly in Afghanistan to help.

Get Involved!

– Read more on Afghanistan at The Canary Global.

Featured image via Flickr

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed